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'Dancing with the Stars' Finale - Part 2: Live blog

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Dancing With The Stars live

© ABC

As another season of Dancing with the Stars draws to a close, it's down to the viewing public to pick their favourite once again. Tonight's winner will follow in the footsteps of previous champions such as Nicole Scherzinger, Hines Ward and Jennifer Grey.

Who will take home the Mirror Ball trophy this season - will it be reality TV star Rob Kardashian, talkshow host Ricki Lake or Army veteran-turned-daytime soap star JR Martinez? Join Digital Spy from 9/8c to find out!

22.56: It's decision time. Rob looks pensive, although soon starts smiling. JR is grinning nervously. JR Martinez is then declared champion by Tom, hugging Karina and lifting her into the air.

JR Martinez and Karina Smirnoff

© ABC



"My friend, you have been an inspiration," Tom says, before asking JR to comment on his victory. "Oh, man. First and foremost, I want to thank everyone who voted for us for ten weeks. Thank you America, for believing in us," he replies.

Turning to Karina, JR adds: "You are so amazing... I'm so pleased to have been a part of your first mirrorball trophy."

Rob tells Brooke that he is "so thankful" for his "crazy experience" on the show. "I'm not sad. I've won in my book," he adds. Cheryl promises that she and Rob will stay friends forever.

Brooke then announces that the 14th season of Dancing with the Stars will premiere on March 19, 2012, as JR and Karina celebrate with the rest of the cast. Thanks for reading - and we'll bring you the action with the first (hopefully well-timed) steps of the new season next spring.

22.50: Brooke is in the Skybox with our two remaining finalists, who are awaiting the scores for their instant samba. The judges give JR and Karina 30 out of 30, leaving them with a total score of 112 points out of a possible 120. Rob and Cheryl are also given 30 out of 30, with a final score of 113 points out of 120.

22.49: Tom is now chatting to some of the eliminated contestants. Chynna says that she found her tango "pretty scary", but it was made easier by the support of the audience.

Tom comments on how Carson got to dance with a Chmerkovskiy during his 'Vogue' routine earlier, and asks him if he was happy to dance with Val over Maks. Carson quips: "There's still the afterparty... why settle for one?" Nancy also promises that Dancing with the Jailhouse will be added to television schedules come the New Year. I think she's joking.

JR Martinez and Rob Kardashian

© ABC



22.47: It's instant samba time! The 'instant' prefix refers to the fact that they are only given the music on the night, apparently.

It's a tough one to call. It really feels like both celebrities were being led by their partners throughout, although of course, the samba is one of the hardest dances to perform. I think based on that dance, JR just edged it.

Len comments that JR, Karina, Rob and Cheryl had ten weeks of "blood, sweat and tears", before adding: "I rarely do this, but I'm going to say, 'Well done'." He gives both couples a standing ovation to cheers from the audience.

"You really learned how to use your bon bon," Bruno quips to Rob, before praising both pairs for their efforts. "[That was] so much fun... I think both of you are winners," Carrie Ann says. "That was a great way to end this season. Fantastic job."

22.39: Semi-finalists Hope Solo and Maksim Chmerkovskiy have returned to perform a fast-paced routine to the Amy Winehouse version of 'Valerie' by The Zutons. The routine includes Hope kicking one of the lights at the edge of the dance floor. It's a move which I strongly suspect Maks did not include in the choreography, although I could be wrong.

22.37: Lady Antebellum are back to perform their mega hit 'Need You Now'. Their performance is swiftly followed by another video montage which summarises the past few weeks in the competition, including Nancy Grace doing a cartwheel. There's something I never, ever thought I'd see.

22.28: Tom helpfully reminds us before the break about this instant samba. It's a good job he did. I'd started to forget about it in the midst of all the hand-jiving and vogueing.

22.26: It's David Arquette! Is he still wearing his dazzling shiny suit from the introductory dance? No, but there's plenty of mad hand-jive action and some nifty, light-footed quickstep moves in his Grease-themed routine with the troupe.

Chaz Bono and Lacey Schwimmer

© ABC



22.24: Chaz Bono is back with his professional dance partner Lacey Schwimmer, and their routine includes a cameo from Lacey's husband Buddy, who is a choreographer and West Coast Swing dancer. Chaz has been in the audience every week since his elimination. He says that the cast has "turned into a family" and he wanted to show his appreciation by supporting the other contestants.

22.18: Nancy Grace is back now, dancing her Spamalot-themed number from Broadway Week. I have to say that I've enjoyed the extended video packages featuring some of the previously eliminated contestants. They'd make a welcome addition to Strictly Come Dancing's grand final (hint, hint).

In other news, I'm feeling a little cheated by the promise that Rob and JR would each be performing an 'instant' samba - it's been well over half an hour now, and still no sign of either finalist shaking their bon bons.

22.15: "I never let it all hang out, not as much as Nancy Grace", Carson Kressley quips before the break, promising us a "water cooler moment" when we return.

He's offering his own unique take on 'Vogue' by Madonna, and it's by far the best returning contestant's performance of the night. I love it. Bruno's face is a picture when they cut to the judges at the end of the routine.

22.08: Kristin Cavallari and Chynna Phillips are back! Chynna says that she is "really glad" to be doing her tango to Mission: Impossible from week 4 again. She forgot her steps first time round, but it's second time lucky for the Wilson Phillips member, who gets a raucous reception from the audience.

22.02: The first of the previous finalists return to the dance floor - Ron Artest, aka Metta World Peace, and Elisabetta Canalis shake their stuff. Tom wryly observes that Elisabetta "doesn't know her own strength".

21.57: The couples will be dancing their instant samba to 'Shake Your Bon Bon' by Ricky Martin. I suddenly feel like I'm about fifteen again. And it's time for another montage, summing up the first few weeks of the season.

21.55: Overdramatic montage time, best summarised by Len's declaration that there are "two contenders [and] one trophy".

21.51: Rob and JR will now dance against each other. Hang on - they don't know the music they're dancing to yet? Oh, my.

Ricki Lake and Derek Hough

© ABC



21.47: If I were to declare an interest, I'm firmly on Team Ricki - all the finalists have worked so hard and all deserve to be there, but I've been especially impressed by Ricki's dedication week in, week out. But sadly, she's out of the competition in third place and receives a thoroughly deserved standing ovation in the studio.

Ricki says: "I've loved basically every minute of this... I've done something I didn't think I could do". She thanks those who voted for her, praises Derek's ability to inspire her as a teacher and adds that she hopes she's done her children and fiancé proud. Derek says that Ricki is "an absolute winner, she's knocked it out of the ballpark the entire season".

21.39: Here's an executive summary of Brooke Burke Charvet's chat with the three finalists in the Skybox. Ricki is optimistic, Rob is amazed to be in the final and JR is still confident that his jive was the right choice.

The judges have ranked the contestants in reverse order, and Len points out that it's not a unanimous decision. Rob and Cheryl are ranked third with 26 points, JR and Karina have 28 points in 2nd place and Ricki and Derek get 30 points.

Calculators at the ready! The leaderboard now looks like this:

84 out of 90 points Ricki Lake and Derek Hough
83 out of 90 points Rob Kardashian and Cheryl Burke
82 out of 90 points JR Martinez and Karina Smirnoff

They're off to combine the judges' scores and viewers votes now. I'm loving Tom's reference to a "mirrorball abacus". Anyone fancy getting me one for Christmas? Pretty please.

21.36: It's time for JR and Karina, who are performing the jive - with some hefty revisions. They're taking out a lift, and the Lindy hop elements that Len didn't like - and there's some bleeped-out fruity language from one of the pair during rehearsals as they get it ready.

They scored 22 out of 30 in week two with their first performance of this routine. JR says how much he's going to miss dancing with Karina. Aww. To be honest, I have a lot of respect for him choosing one of his lower-scoring dances from early in the competition over, say, his Argentine tango from the semi-finals.

Carrie Ann says that JR is a "catalyst for joy", but doesn't think it was one of his strongest performances. She admits that she actually missed the lift that they took out of the routine. Len pays tribute to the band and singers before telling JR: "You did exactly what I asked you to do, you took the Lindy out... you've got such a sparkling personality, you just light up this room each day". Bruno delivers a (by his standards) short monologue which ends with the words "fun, fun, fun!"

21.32: We've just gone to a commercial break, so it seems like a good time to draw your attention to the results of our poll if you haven't seen them yet. 38% of Digital Spy readers think that Rob will win season 13 of Dancing with the Stars, with JR on 31.5% and Ricki on 30.5%.

Cheryl Burke and Rob Kardashian

© ABC



21.27: Rob and Cheryl plump for their foxtrot, which earned them 24 points out of 30 in week three of the competition. Rob is especially keen as the performance was dedicated to his father, so it means a lot to him. He says that Cheryl "has transformed me into someone... who I never thought I could be". Cheryl praises Rob's hard work.

Bruno declares: "First let me say, you really have improved beyond everyone's expectations, and you even made the little hiccup look charming... I think you've got your mojo!" Carrie Ann says that Rob dances with ease and has "grown so much", and Len poo-poohs Rob's "little slip", saying that it doesn't mean anything and he doesn't understand why the others have even mentioned it. He thinks Rob has got the best footwork of any male celebrity he's seen on the show, and praises his progress through the competition.

We're going to be given the scores for all three finalists after JR and Karina have performed their first dance of the night.

21.18: Each finalist is about to perform their favourite dance of the season in the hope of improving on their initial performance. Ricki and Derek are performing their tango, which earned them 29 out of 30 in week four of the competition. Ricki says that performing this dance gave her confidence, and that she thinks she's grown as a dancer since then.

Len Goodman says: "This is one of the most memorable dances of this or any season. The first time round, I liked it - I love it second time round." Bruno Tonioli describes it as an "extravaganza" and "unforgettable", in his usual inimitable style. Carrie Ann Inaba says to Ricki: "You have proven to us once again that you are a fighter who never gives up", adding that the dance is "beyond perfection". Tom is guessing that the scores are good. I should jolly well hope so after all that praise, to be honest.

21.10: It's time for the first song from Lady Antebellum, who've swept pretty much every American music awards ceremony going this year. This is the television debut of their new single 'Dancing Away with My Heart', and while it's not my musical cup of tea, it's pleasant enough.

21.04: Ah, a high-octane contemporary group routine featuring all of this season's hopefuls to start proceedings. Fabulous. Oh, and as a huge fan of Dancing with the Stars' British counterpart Strictly Come Dancing, I am pleased to hear the familiar voice of Alan Dedicoat - who also announces our version - presiding over DWTS as well.

Host Tom Bergeron is now introducing all of the finalists to raucous cheers from the studio audience.

21.00: It's difficult to separate our contenders - who have been the top three dancers of the season, in my book - but I have a gut feeling that it will be reality TV star Rob lifting the mirror ball trophy in two hours' time. The show's just about to get underway, so let's see what our hopefuls have in store!

20.55: Good evening! What a busy night for live blogging here at Digital Spy Towers - crucial performances ahead of The X Factor's double elimination, and now the conclusion to another spellbinding season of dancefloor action on Dancing with the Stars.

A brief recap of last night on DWTS for those of you who missed it - Rob and Cheryl currently top the leaderboard with 57 points out of a possible 60, including a perfect score of 30 for their freestyle dance. Ricki and Derek are tied with JR and Karina on 54 points. Read a full roundup of Monday night's show here.

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